1963 Pickups

ParsAndGuitars

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Hi Guys- I just want to say thanks again for all the thoughtful responses. The bottom line is 1963 or not, its a fantastic sounding guitar, and while its a bit of a bummer that it isnt a 1963, its still a piece of history with some serious mojo.

I'm so intrigued by the Don Mare pickups option, definitely something to consider. And if it does end up going for surgery, maybe then I'll get to the bottom. I will say the serial number nailed it between 1972-1973, which obviously significantly diminishes its value anyways - but for the price I paid, I still feel like I got a great deal.

Thanks again
 

mjcyates

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The logo, string trees, etc. look just like my 1977 tele. Mine had Bill Lawrence pickups in it when I received it as well. I ended up putting in Dimarzio Twang Kings, they look the part and I think they sound great. Good luck with your project.
 

telemnemonics

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Welcome to the forum!

I'm no expert, but doesn't that neck look more like a 1973? The logo, tuner buttons, and double string trees look more 70's imo.

Most 63s would have a rosewood fretboard and a spaghetti logo...

You're right, the pic was too small on my screen to notice but that's not a '63 logo.
Could be a refin and even Fender put the most current logo on old necks if they refinished them for customers.
 

telemnemonics

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Hi Guys- I just want to say thanks again for all the thoughtful responses. The bottom line is 1963 or not, its a fantastic sounding guitar, and while its a bit of a bummer that it isnt a 1963, its still a piece of history with some serious mojo.

I'm so intrigued by the Don Mare pickups option, definitely something to consider. And if it does end up going for surgery, maybe then I'll get to the bottom. I will say the serial number nailed it between 1972-1973, which obviously significantly diminishes its value anyways - but for the price I paid, I still feel like I got a great deal.

Thanks again

The dates make me sing a different tune!
I'd say that is more '72 than '73 because right around '73 the body shape changed and this is not the later less desirable body.

Original pickups for that are 1) easier to find and not that expensive, and 2) easier to identify because at least the bridge bottom got a factory date stamp under the steel bottom plate.

There's an ebay seller called Kidquick who often has the early '70s pickups and I think sells them for $200- $300 each, not that bad for originals and not like paying $1500- $2000 for a pair of unmarked alleged '63's.
Writing to him you may hear that he has some not listed.
I actually prefer '68- '73 Tele bridge pickups, not that expensive and they have a brilliant bold tone, not the hot wooly bassy modern style that's more pop today.
 
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JL_LI

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Mythology is big.

Amps IMO are brighter today than in the '50s & '60s, so the very very bright tones of many old pickups don't suit players today.
This is an astute observation about amps and pickups. My favorite combination among my gear is my FCS ‘69 Stratocaster with its low wind pickups and my Mesa Boogie amp run at 5 watts. That’s bright pickups into a bright amp at a bright setting. At 71, with high frequency hearing loss, this sounds great to my ears.
 

telemnemonics

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This is an astute observation about amps and pickups. My favorite combination among my gear is my FCS ‘69 Stratocaster with its low wind pickups and my Mesa Boogie amp run at 5 watts. That’s bright pickups into a bright amp at a bright setting. At 71, with high frequency hearing loss, this sounds great to my ears.

You know I'd bet there's a market for a pedal that sends old guy tone to us old guys but kids today tone to the board so the audience isn't harmed.
I often wonder, and try to set my amp just a little darker than I think it needs to be, so that it will in reality sound how I WANT it to SOUND, rather than how it needs to sound for my defective ears to hear what I'd like an audience to hear.

Nobody can really advise me on "my tone" if I can't explain how "it" sounds (in my head) and my actual sound is not what i hear.
 

JL_LI

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You know I'd bet there's a market for a pedal that sends old guy tone to us old guys but kids today tone to the board so the audience isn't harmed.
I often wonder, and try to set my amp just a little darker than I think it needs to be, so that it will in reality sound how I WANT it to SOUND, rather than how it needs to sound for my defective ears to hear what I'd like an audience to hear.

Nobody can really advise me on "my tone" if I can't explain how "it" sounds (in my head) and my actual sound is not what i hear.
The physics of your “it” is actually fascinating and it comes down strongly in favor of what we older guys hear. We set our gear how we like it in a small room. Take the same gear out. Out on the porch or out to a gig and the sound changes. But wait. That’s a good thing. In our small room, everything sounds great to us but sounds way too bright to the younger folks. Outside, sound spreads. It gets absorbed and reflected. Higher frequencies are scattered more than low frequencies so what started out as bright winds up balanced because of scattering losses of highs and high mids. In a bar packed with patrons, high frequencies are absorbed to an even greater extent by bodies and clothing. Again, what was bright becomes balanced. Sound is nothing more than vibration propagating as waves. What I describe for sound is no different from what happens to sunlight. The sky is blue during the day because the atmosphere scatters high frequency waves more than low frequency waves. The sky reddens at sunset because the low frequency waves of orange and red light propagate more directly with less scattering. Physics is your friend in both of these cases.
 
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finallyelectric

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Hi everyone- first of all, I’m need to this thread and want to say how much I appreciate this community of Tele lovers.

Anyways, through sheer luck, I have acquired a 1963 Tele in natural wood with Bill Lawrence pickups. It’s an incredible guitar but I obviously now wanna get original pickups somehow to bring her back where she belongs and of course restore her full value.
I am reaching out to you fine folks hoping to get some guidance. Thanks so much. I’m scouring eBay and Reverb. Would Fender CS of the appropriate era in an authentic 1963 body be valuable? Thanks for reading!


I saw this when coming on to make my first post after the "welcome wagon" to ask about some pick-ups. Based on all the reading I've done, I'd bet someone will mention Bill Lawrence. If history defies itself and I'm able to settle on something (time is winding precariously down, however) would you be willing to sell those? Which model are they?

Thanks for your time!
 

ParsAndGuitars

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I saw this when coming on to make my first post after the "welcome wagon" to ask about some pick-ups. Based on all the reading I've done, I'd bet someone will mention Bill Lawrence. If history defies itself and I'm able to settle on something (time is winding precariously down, however) would you be willing to sell those? Which model are they?

Thanks for your time!

I am not sure about the model, have to get them taken out first, but yeah I would definitely be open to sell.

Best,
Robbie
 

ddewerd

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That serial number will get you to a spread of time of 2 or 3 years. They were not used in a sequential manner but rather were haphazardly handled and used. The guitar can be dated by neck and body dates if they are there. Also, the date of the pots is indicative of a ‘no earlier than ____’ type of time frame.

Yup, my '63 has a serial number from 1963, but the neck is dated 1962.

I still have my original pickups, but both died a few years back. I should probably get them rewound, but it was just easier to buy some new ones (Seymour Duncan STR1 and STR2 Vintage).

Cheers,
Doug
 

Bartholomew3

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I have a 68 bought new for probably $285 CDN that year and have to say there was a reason many of us changed pickups back then.

The originals for the most part were not too good IMO when compared to modern replacements. Ice-pick bridge and very weak neck pickups are common in those years. Still have the pickups from 68, look good are almost unused. In a box in my basement for over 50 years but don't work at all now, no idea why. Guess I could have them rewound and sell them but it would be fraudulent.

Will cost you an exceptional amount to buy originals on fleabay probably around $1,800 or more and how can you possibly know what you are putting out $$$ for ?

If you want to sell the axe you have no way to convince the buyer that you have an "authentic" tele. Try explaining how you put back original pickups bought online.
 
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Telekarster

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Hopefully the OP will be able to send us pics of the pocket, heel, and under the hood. Would love to see what's going on with her! Looks like a swell player though! If it was a legit 63 (which it's sounding like it's not) then I might be inclinded to spring for originals, just to keep it original-ish. Otherwsie, I'd probably stick with the BL's and call it good IMO. I might even experiment with a few diff pup mfg's etc. ;)
 

Wally

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I have a 68 bought new for probably $285 CDN that year and have to say there was a reason many of us changed pickups back then.

The originals for the most part were not too good IMO when compared to modern replacements. Ice-pick bridge and very weak neck pickups are common in those years. Still have the pickups from 68, look good are almost unused. In a box in my basement for over 50 years but don't work at all now, no idea why. Guess I could have them rewound and sell them but it would be fraudulent.

Will cost you an exceptional amount to buy originals on fleabay probably around $1,800 or more and how can you possibly know what you are putting out $$$ for ?

If you want to sell the axe you have no way to convince the buyer that you have an "authentic" tele. Try explaining how you put back original pickups bought online.
Circa, 1967, Fender changed the circuit for Telecasters. Along with the modern wiring, they used 1 meg pots which brightened the signal in a bad way, imho. If one changed the pots to 250K, the pickups might be fine.
 

Red Ryder

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As mentioned, neck is probably early/mid 70's but definitely not '63. Loosen off the strings and take the neck off and you'll see a date stamp on the neck heel.

Could be a stripped '63 (or thereabouts) body and that pickguard looks exactly the same as the one on my '63.....need better close up pics to be sure.

While the strings are loose, take off the bridge and post some pics of the bridge pickup cavity, there might still be a date pencilled in there. Also the neck cavity could have some markings in there so take some pics and post 'em up.

As for pickups, a '63 bridge pickup is a very special deal and I doubt any replacement will get even close to how they sound, certainly not in my experience. If you like the way the guitar sounds I'd leave it be rather than go chasing rainbows. It's a cool guitar and has value in its parts but its originality can never be replaced.
I just traded off a 63 bridge pickup. For me it was no special deal but more like an ice pick in my ear. My buddy used it for an Esquire build and I am happy with my offset tele I got from him. It's custom built all American. Win, win for both of us.
 

loudboy

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Circa, 1967, Fender changed the circuit for Telecasters. Along with the modern wiring, they used 1 meg pots which brightened the signal in a bad way, imho. If one changed the pots to 250K, the pickups might be fine.

I've got a Tele with a Lawrence in the bridge and 250K pots, and it absolutely kills - super versatile, still twangs, but can rock out hard, too.
 

slimdave

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Not to be that guy, but...
Are you aware that the price of a modded 63 telecaster is much higher than the price of a modded 73 telecaster? Depending on what you paid (thinking it was a 63), you might have overpaid a lot.
 




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